Racine police say Terry Lee Jackson, the man suspected of killing Brittany Booker Sunday morning, has eluded capture since he allegedly assaulted Booker in February by hiding and moving frequently.
Booker was killed Sunday morning sometime before 9:30 a.m. when officers were first called to the 1300 block of Villa Street for a report of a missing person. When they arrived, they found Booker deceased. A cause of death has not been released.
Suspect Terry Lee Jackson, Jr.
Jackson is the boyfriend of Booker’s friend. In a separate incident, he is accused of attacking the friend and Booker in February. According to the criminal complaint detailing the incident, police were called to the hospital at 11 a.m. on Feb. 21 for a report of an assault that had taken place the night before.
When officers arrived, a woman with visible injuries to her face told them Jackson assaulted her on Feb. 20 as well as the week before, after which Jackson agreed to move to Illinois if the woman wouldn’t report the assault.
Police say the woman drove to Illinois on Feb. 20 to pick up Jackson because he had a court date on Feb. 22 in Racine. On the ride back, Jackson was driving, and at approximately 9 p.m. Feb. 20, he pulled behind the campus of Gateway Technical College and took the woman’s phone when she tried to call someone. He grabbed the woman by the throat and dug his fingers into her eyes. Jackson exited the vehicle to walk to the passenger side of the car, opened the door, and started punching the woman in the face and upper body.
Jackson also had a box cutter in his possession and said he was going to use it cut the woman “one side to the next,” the complaint continues. Based on text messages and her call log, the woman told officers she believes the assault lasted about three hours, but she had a hard time keeping track of time because she lost consciousness. After he ceased his attack, he drove the woman to pick up her daughter and forced her to pull her hoodie up to hide her injuries.
The woman told officers Jackson has a history of making suicidal statements and has attempted to take his own life, police officers reported in the criminal complaint. Jackson reportedly told the woman he wasn’t going back to jail, that he wasn’t going to court, and he wanted to get killed by police.
On February 27, officers were called to George’s Tavern on Main Street for a report of an assault. A woman had run into the bar covered in blood, and there was word of a second victim, but they didn’t know where, the complaint continues. When police arrived, both the woman and Booker were inside. Booker was lying on the floor with a blank stare and appeared to be going in and out of consciousness, and both women told officers that Jackson attacked them both with a hammer.
Police say Booker and the woman went to the woman’s apartment she shared with Jackson to retrieve some of her belongings. While they were there, Jackson came in through the back door and went after the woman with a hammer while Booker tried to call 911 at the same time she held her two-year-old daughter and grabbed a kitchen knife for defense. Jackson then struck Booker’s head several times with the hammer. She let go of her daughter and ran for a neighbor’s house with Jackson in pursuit saying he was going to kill her. Both of the women required staples to close their wounds; Booker had five wounds that needed tending to.
Jackson was due in court Feb. 22 for a felony drug case filed in 2021, and a no bond warrant was issued for his arrest when he didn’t appear, Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson confirmed. She said the investigation into the Feb. 20 assault was underway and the original warrant should have been sufficient to take him into custody.
“He missed his court date, and that was enough to issue the warrant while investigators built their case,” Hanson said. “Once the reports were completed, it was clear how dangerous (Jackson) is, and we issued a second warrant with a $100,000 attached to it.”
In addition to the homicide charges he will face once he’s in custody, charges from the Feb. 20 and Feb. 27 incidents include two felony charges of first degree attempted intentional homicide, one felony count each of recklessly endangering safety, stalking, strangulation, intimidating a victim, and false imprisonment, two felony counts of bail jumping, and one misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. If convicted of those charges alone, Jackson faces up to 180 years – the rest of his life – in prison.
When asked if Booker had reported to the DA’s office that she felt like her life was in danger, Hanson said she couldn’t comment and cited Marcy’s Law for what prevents her from commenting. Racine Police Department Sergeant Kristi Wilcox said she didn’t know if Booker had been offered shelter services either in Racine or in another county, but she did say Booker had been in regular contact with investigators. She also confirmed that police were not patrolling Booker’s house.
Wilcox told Racine County Eye Monday that despite the lack of public knowledge, authorities were actively searching for Jackson after the alleged February attack.
“We did conduct a manhunt for a month, but we did not alert the public because doing so might have placed a number of people in harm’s way unnecessarily,” she said.
Hanson backed her up, saying that when someone is as dangerous as Jackson, authorities often decide to not alert the public.
Jackson was in hiding and moved frequently, including from state to state, Wilcox added, but she stands by the department’s decision to not make the search for him public.
“Alerting the public would not have changed the outcome,” she added. “The situation with him is very serious and has been, and (Jackson’s) efforts to escape capture made it difficult to apprehend him.”
Detective Mike Seeger serves on the U.S. Marshall Task Force, and when Racine County Eye asked if Booker was offered protective custody after the February attack, he said he would get back to us.
The Racine County Eye will continue to update this story as it unfolds.
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